What do a professional football player like Tyrod Taylor and a respected stylist like Dex Robinson have in common? Ownership of an emerging luxury streetwear brand, DIALLO. A brand centered on dressing and fitting an athletic build that gets overlooked in the world of luxury. “Being African American males shopping in the luxury space can be a challenge because we typically have a fuller thigh and bottom half, paired with a smaller waist which means that most trousers, we have to go up a size for comfort, but then the waist is too big. So we want to make sure we are considerate in those areas knowing that our audience will primarily look like us,” said Robinson. The idea behind DIALLO was originally supposed to be a boutique that would sell multiple brands in-store, but as time progressed, they knew they had more in mind. Taylore told ESSENCE, “I had the idea to make DIALLO into a clothing brand and brought it to Dex to make it happen. We’d spend so much money on fashion, whether it’s garments or traveling to Milan and Paris. I’m like, why not invest that into our own brand? I’m tired of wearing everybody else stuff.”
While the two are new to design, it has not deterred them in any way. “Being experts at the jobs you have been doing since forever to really being a student again in another capacity is always going to be some challenges,” says Robinson. The duo has traveled to and fro, taken many Zoom meetings, and looked at an overflowing email inbox in order to build DIALLO. “A lot of trial and error for sure, but I totally feel like we are establishing our footing, and once we get really that going, I feel as though we will be unstoppable.”
DIALLO may have just been founded not too long ago, but they are already taking strides in the right direction. The brand recently had a pop-up at Nordstrom’s New York Flagship store in February that attracted many supporters. The pro football player turned designer shared with ESSENCE, “I’m excited for everyone to take this journey with us as we connect and share our story through the garments we create. The turnout, love, and energy shared at the pop-up were amazing! I hope DIALLO inspires others to be BOLD in their own way!!” The future is looking very bright for this duo, and ESSENCE is excited to see where they keep going from here.